Hawaii’s COVID-19 case count rose to 48,397 on Thursday after the state logged 549 new infections and one additional coronavirus-related death.

The latest cases included 301 on Oahu, 122 on Hawaii island, 65 on Maui, 50 on Kauai and five on Molokai. Six residents also were diagnosed out of state.

The Department of Health also announced that it will start releasing daily COVID-19 case counts to the public around 9 a.m. instead of noon.

waikiki Beach was packed with Hawaii having 628 cases of COVID-19 statewide.
The state Department of Health is now releasing daily COVID-19 reports around 9 a.m. instead of noon. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

“As the pandemic evolves, this change will ensure the public has timely and accurate information that is verified by DOH’s team of data scientists and epidemiologists,” department spokesman Brooks Baehr said in a news release. “For now, reporting will continue seven days a week, including holidays.”

The state announced Wednesday that technical problems earlier this week led to a reporting delay of an”unknown number of cases.”

Baehr said those case numbers are not caught up yet.

“We knew it was going to take a couple days to clear the backlog created by the interruption in the electronic lab reporting system, and we hope that the backlog will be completely cleared by the numbers reported tomorrow,” Baehr said.

Amid the influx of cases driven by the highly contagious delta variant, Gov. David Ige limited social gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. This came after an average of more than 500 new COVID-19 cases each day.

Ige has said that indoor capacity for all high risk activities such as bars, restaurants, gyms and social establishments is set at 50%.

The health department says 61.1% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, with 868,277 completed doses. The statewide test positivity rate is 7.5%.

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